Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Colds, Flu & Catarrhs

28 Colds, Flu & Catarrhs


Common cold is a viral infection characterized by inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the upper respiratory passages and usually accompanied by malaise, fever, chills, coughing, and sneezing.
COLDS, FLU - Treatment & Homeopathic Medicines

#Aconite [Acon]
When the attack comes on suddenly after an exposure to a cold, dry wind, with chilliness, followed by fever, Aconite will be the remedy. It should be administered just as soon as the patient realizes that he is taking cold. There is as yet no discharge, but from the congestion the nose is swollen, hot, dry and stopped up, and this stoppage is apt to change from side to side; there is tingling and burning in the nose and a throbbing frontal headache; there may be sneezing also. These symptoms are all better in the open air. Nux vomica has colds caused by cold weather, with a dry, stuffed up nose and rough, scrapy throat. In Belladonna there is more cerebral excitement and swelling in the throat is a prominent symptom. China has headache with pains, worse in open air, not better, as in Aconite. Ferrum phosphoricum is very similar to Aconite and may be used when the onset is less sudden and violent and when there is no anxiety and restlessness. It is also, like Nux and Calcarea carbonica, excellent for predisposition to take cold.

#Arsenicum [Ars]
is especially useful in winter colds where there is a thin, watery discharge from the nostrils which excoriates the upper lip, yet in spite of this fluent discharge the nose feels stopped up. There is a dull, throbbing frontal headache and sneezing, photophobia,and contrary to what one would expect, the sneezing does not relieve in the slightest and the irritation continues as before and is worse on going into sir. It corresponds well to patients who are rarely without a cold. These symptoms of watery discharge and sneezing place Arsenic in the front rank in the treatment of hay fever. Catarrh based upon a malarial miasm in poorly nourished subjects calls for the remedy. Arsenic iodide may be found indicated when burning in nose and throat is marked. Allium cepa has this excoriating nasal discharge also, but, if and anything, there is more lachrymation, which, by the way, is bland. Sinapis nigra resembles Arsenicum in the heat in the nose, but with Sinapis there is dryness and no discharge. The discharge of Mercurius, though excoriating and acrid, is thicker. The cold of Arsenic always settles in the nose, that of Phosphorus in the chest. The Arsenic patient is chilly and wants to be near the fire all the time; the nose burns both externally and internally.

#Allium cepa [All-c]
One of our best remedies for cold in the head, indeed, is said by come to be the best, and probably it is when indicated. The discharge is profuse, thin and acrid, with great smarting in the nose and eyes, and the distinguishing feature between this remedy and Euphrasia is the profuse lachrymation which here is bland, and under Euphrasia is excoriating, while the opposite condition obtains in the nose. Under Allium the edges of the eyelids burn and the eyes are red and sensitive to light. The nasal discharge is thin and flows constantly, excoriates the upper lip, and there is prolonged sneezing. A peculiarity of Allium is that the discharge ceases when the patient goes into the open air, but returns when entering a warm room again. It is a drug Which should be given early, and if there be a splitting laryngeal cough, causing the patient to wince and crouch with pain, it is all the more indicated. Farrington, however, claims that Allium is apt to drive the trouble to the chest, and adds that when it reaches the chest Phosphorus is the remedy. Arsenic, too, is similar, but Arsenic has sneezing in the cool air after leaving a worm room, and it lacks the laryngeal symptoms so common in Allium. The Mercurius discharge is acrid, and not as thin as that of Allium.

#Euphrasia [Euph]
Here the upper part only of the respiratory mucous membrane is affected. Like Allium cepa it has a copious, fluent discharge from nose, and copious lachrymation, the latter being most acrid, excoriating the cheeks, and being so profuse as to keep them wet all the time. It differs from Allium, as we have seen, in the character of the discharge, from the eyes excoriating, from the nose bland. Euphrasia is often well indicated in the coryzas which precede measles, when there is a cough which sounds decidedly measly. Eruptions on the wings of the nose.

#Arum triphyllum [Arum-t]
Under Arum all of the secretions are acrid, and there is a discharge if ichorous fluid from the nose; the nostrils and lips are sore. There may be a discharge from both nose and eyes which is yellow and acrid. There is thirst, but drinking causes pain. The nostrils are sore, and there is constant desire to bore the finger into the nose. The nose may be completely stopped up, and at the same time there is a fluent acrid discharge. Drowsiness and an inclination to sneeze accompanies. Lycopodium has complete stoppage of the nose night and day, with some discharge, which may be excoriating. Dryness posteriorly and discharge anteriorly is also characteristic of Lycopodium.

#Gelsemium [Gels]
This remedy is often underestimated in the early stages of cold in the head. It will break up a cold at the beginning quicker than any other remedy with these indication: Fullness of the head, hot fever and chilliness, as if a cold were coming on. The patient is dull and weak, chills run up and down the back, with a watery, excoriating, or bland discharge form the nose and sneezing. There is also a marked inclination in the patient to hug the fire. Colds brought on by warm relaxing weather especially indicate Gelsemium, hence it seems to be most useful in spring and summer weather, and corresponds well to some epidemic colds. There is a predisposition to take cold on any change of the weather. It has been found specially useful in influenzas with fever. It is a remedy that must be used early in the cold. The 1X dilution will often suffice. Lachesis is often suitable for spring colds and catarrhs, with sensitiveness of throat. Quillaya. In the incipiency of a cold, with very sore throat, this remedy has been found to be of signal use. Sepia. Colds at onset of menstruation.

#Nux vomica [Nux-v]
The first stage of ordinary cold in the head may be met by Nux vomica, when it is brought on by damp, cold weather, or from sitting on damp, cold steps; associated with sneezing and stuffed up feeling in the nose. The nose is dry, there is very little discharge, the eyes water, and there is scraping in the throat, and dullness and oppression about the front sinuses; it should be given as soon as dryness and tickling in the nose begins; the nasal passages are alternately free and obstructed. These symptoms are worse in a warm room and better in the open air. It is of little use after the cold is established. Mercurius is similar, having rawness and soreness in the nose, but it is especially aggravated in damp weather. Pulsatilla is more for a ripe cold, and Arsenicum also has heat and burning in the nose, but the coryza is relieved by warmth and aggravated by cold, which is opposite of Nux. Another symptom indicating Nux is a fluent coryza during the day and a stuffed up sensation at night.

#Mercurius [Merc]
There is a profuse coryza which extends to the frontal sinuses, burning in eyes and nose, acrid discharge, violent sneezing, and tendency to perspiration which aggravates. When a cold begins with coryza, Mercurius is a valuable remedy. Kali iodatum has great distress in frontal region, worse at 3 A.M. Mercurius is especially aggravated in damp weather and the coryza is worse by heat of stove room; nose is sore; wiping nose is painful. Thin watery discharges belong to Allium cepa, Euphrasia, Arum triphyllum and Arsenicum. The Mercury discharge is thin mucus, not thick as in Pulsatilla, Hydrastis, and some other drugs, or it may be yellowish green in color.

#Pulsatilla [Puls]
Pulsatilla is more indicated in an advanced stage of cold in the head, what is known as a ripe-cold, hence it should not be given at the beginning of a cold, for it is never indicated. There is no sneezing or excoriating discharge with Pulsatilla. The discharge is thick, yellow, muco-purulent, and, above all bland. Penthorum sedoides. Coryza with raw nose and throat; later it has the thick, yellow discharge of Pulsatilla, but the keynote of this remedy is a sensation of wetness in the nose. Hydrastis is also similar to Pulsatilla, but there is no burning and rawness and tenacity to the discharge; sensation of a hair in the nostrils; constant desire to blow the nose, which feels raw and excoriated; the cold has settled in the back of the nose and throat. This remedy alone will cure more sinusites than any remedy because it is more often indicated. Thick, yellow, tenacious mucus in posterior nares, more distinctly yellow than Kali bichromicum and profuse. If you have a Pulsatilla cold, and in addition to it you have sneezing, give Cyclamen, also for attacks of sneezing without a cold. Chromico-kali-sulphuricum in the 2X or 3X is highly recommended in chronic rhinitis. With the pulsatilla cold there is usually loss of smell and taste, and there is relief in the open air, even though the patient be chilly. Magnesia muriatica. Loss of taste and smell after catarrh. Drosera suits the last of colds with a cough coming on by fits.

#Camphora [Camph]
First stage of cold in the head when nose is stopped up and is dry, and the inspired air feels cooler than usual. It will often check an incipient cold when the chill is first felt, and is a useful remedy in chronic or rather paroxysmal coryzas, which occur upon every change ;of weather; it may be used by olfaction. The patient feels chilly, frontal sinuses involved, dull headache. Increased secretion of watery mucus from nose, with and without sneezing. It really comes in along with or even before Aconite, but it has not the wide range of application that Aconite has.

#Kali iodatum [Kali-i]
Thin, excoriating and very profuse, scalding discharges from the nose and coryzas, which involve the frontal sinuses and antra ;of Highmore in scrofulous or mercurialized individuals, with profuse, watery discharges, call for this remedy. The eyes smart, lachrymate and become puffed. The throat is irritated and the no;se is apt to be red. Kali bichromicum. Discharge tough and stringy, sometimes extending to throat, causing choking. It often follows Aconite well, catarrhs involving whole respiratory tract. It is a frequently indicated remedy in chronic nasal catarrh, hypertrophic rhinitis, first fluent acrid coryza relieved by warmth, then tough, stringy, discharge; wants to blow nose; no discharge; feeling of dryness in nose. Lemna minor. Putrid smell, putrid taste. Nasal polypi, atrophic rhinitis, glairy mucus, post-nasal discharge.

#Natrum muriaticum [Nat-m]
Colds with watery, transparent discharges, causing vesicular eruptions about mouth and nose, with watery, clear frothy discharge, worse on going into colds air and on exertion; great dryness of posterior nares. There is entire loss of taste. This is the Schuessler remedy for coryzas, the watery exudations being the biochemic indication for coryzas, the watery exudations being the biochemic indication for its use. Dropping of mucus from naso-pharynx in the morning. It also removes the tendency to take cold. Sticta. Constant desire to blow the nose, though nothing escapes; stuffed feeling at root of nose. The leading and most annoying symptom is dryness of the mucous membrane of the nose ( Senega), secretion dries rapidly, forming scabs difficult to dislodge. Clarke considers Natrum muriaticum one of the most valuable remedies we possess for colds. The use of salt baths by the old school and the popular use of salt food would seem to verify this observation.

#Dulcamara [Dulc]
Dry coryza renewed by slightest exposure, worse after getting wet, in the open air and at night. It suits especially torpid phlegmatic constitutions, those who take cold when the weather changes to a lower temperature, and so it becomes of great use in nasal catarrhs and influenzas of autumn. The Nux coryza is worse in the house and better in the open air, which will easily distinguish. Colds which come on from change of weather and gradually involve the whole respiratory tract may indicate Dulcamara. "Cold sores" may accompany the colds. Colds which come on suddenly, with a discharge dropping at times like clear water from the nose, should call for Calcarea and it will be found of great service. Sanguinaria nitrate. Acute colds with sneezing, profuse discharge, burning and rawness in posterior nares. Chronic catarrh, thick, yellow discharge, with much burning and irritation, husky voice must clear throat before speaking.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

27 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This is also known as the 'post viral syndrome' or 'myalgic enchphalomylitis;. This is a syndrome in which person suffering from an acute illness never seems to recover fully from it. Even after the acute illness is over, the patient does not feel well and complains of malaise, fatigue, myalgia, headache, and exhaustion.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - CAUSE

* Not known specifically. Usually occurs after an acute viral illness.
* Enteroviruses are implicated.
* Often occurs after mononucleosis.
* Overexertion (mental or physical) during an acute illness can predispose to it.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - MECHANISM - WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS?

Not known so far.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

* The most pronounced symptom is 'fatigue'. the person always feels very tired, sometimes so much that even going from one room to other may seem like a chore.
* Myalgia or body ache
* General malaise and headache

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - HOW DIAGNOSIS IS MADE?

* Diagnosis is usually done clinically.
* There is no specific test but in some cases antibodies to Coxsackie-B or Epstein-Barr viruses may be present.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - COMPLICATIONS

* Since the complaint is chronic in nature, depression, work inefficiency can occur.
* Many patients become chronically disabled.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - WHAT TO DIFFERENTIATE FROM?

Acute viral illness is often followed by a week or two of weakness and sleepiness. This should not cause unnecessary worry.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - HOMEOPATHIC Medicines & TREATMENT

Homeopathy is the only form of treatment that I have seen working in this condition. But even with homeopathic drugs it may take a few months to resolve this condition fully. But considering that there is no conventional treatment and most people suffer for years, a few months may be a very short period.

Some of the medicines that I have found of use in this condition are carbo-veg, china, mygale-l, sarcolactic acid, natrum-sal etc.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT

* No specific treatment is available
* A few individuals partially respond to anti-depressant medication

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?

* Deep breathing and walking in fresh air can increase the energy levels.
* A well balanced nutritious diet with ample fluids should be taken.
* Avoid mental and physical exertion during an acute illness. Try to take proper rest. DO NOT ' pop-a-pill and go-to work' if you are not feeling very well.

WHERE ELSE TO FIND MORE INFO? INTERNET RESOURCES

* http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/cfs/
* http://www.aacfs.org/
* http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/chronicfatiguesyndrome.html
* http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/cfs.htm

REFERENCE WORKS

Davidson's Principles and Practise of Medicine, 17th ed, 1996, Churchill Livingstone

New Manual of Homeopathic Materia Medica & Repertory, William Boericke, 2nd revised ed., 2001, B. Jain

Select Your remedy, Rai Bahdur Bishambhar Das, 19th ed, 1999, Bishambar Free Homeo Dispensary

A Concise Repertory of Homeopathic Medicines, S.R.Phatak, 3rd ed, B. Jain

Practical Homeopathic Therapeutics, Dewey, reprint ed, 1993, B.Jain

Chorea

26 Chorea

Chorea is an irregular, rapid, uncontrolled, involuntary, excessive movement that seems to move randomly from one part of the body to another. The affected child often appears fidgety or restless and unable to sit still. The word "chorea" comes from the Greek word for dance. The jerky movements of the feet or hands are often similar to dancing or piano playing. When chorea is severe, the movements may cause motion of the arms or legs that results in throwing whatever is in the hand or falling to the ground. Walking may become bizarre, with inserted excessive postures and leg movements.

The disease, known also as Sydenham's chorea (not to be confused with Huntington's disease, a hereditary disease of adults that is sometimes called Huntington's chorea), is usually, but not always, a complication of rheumatic fever. Sydenham's chorea, a disease of children, especially females, usually appears between the ages of 7 and 14. Facial grimacing and jerking movements persist for 6 to 10 weeks and sometimes recur after months or even years. Eventually the symptoms disappear.
Chorea - Treatment & Homeopathic Medicines

#Agaricus [Agar]
For true cerebral chorea Agaricus stands at the head of the list. It is, however, prescribed in a routine habitual way and hence has more failures attributed to it than cures. It has in its pathogenesis a long list of symptoms of muscular twitchings, among which are twitchings and spasms of the eyeballs and eyelids; it has angular choreic movements and spasmodic motions of the extremities, which are not confined to one side of the body, but affect the upper half on one side of the body and the lower half on the other. Tarentula has chorea affecting the right arm and the right leg. The spine in Agaricus cases is apt to be sensitive to pressure, especially in lumbar region, there is weakness and coldness of the limbs and unsteady gait, and as the disease progresses there is emaciation and an idiotic expression of the face. Cimicifuga is applicable to chorea affecting the left side, and when associated with rheumatism or myalgia, or occurring reflexly in uterine affections. The twitching in Agaricus also occur during sleep, but are more severe while awake. With this drug there is considerable congestion to the head, dilated pupils, flushed face, and the twitching is said to be worse during a thunderstorm. Bartlett, in Goodno's Practice,advises the 2X of Agaricine and uses no other drug in this disease; he claims that Agaricus is practically useless, a claim, however, that cannot be substantiated. It must be prescribed on homoeopathic indications, not applied as being "good" for chorea. In spasmodic twitchings of the eyes and lids, Agaricus will most frequently be the proper remedy. If there be itching spots on the skin resembling chilblains, or if the child have an idiotic expression of the face, then Agaricus is all the more indicated. Agaricus is especially useful in mild cases and in epidemic cases, and is a precise simile to the idiopathic form, according to some authors, though Cobb thinks it is more frequently called for in reflex choreiform movements and habit spasms than for idiopathic chorea, a proof to us that forms and stages of disease had best be ignored and the indicating symptoms relied upon each case.

#Tarentula [Tarent]
When the choreic movements affect the right arm and right leg, and when the movements continue even at night, and are brought on by fright, grief, etc., the Tarentula Hispana becomes the remedy. The patient is restless and compelled to keep constantly in motion, the spine is sensitive,and there is trembling. The patient can run better than he can walk, and in chorea major with rigidity it is the remedy when diversion of the mind, especially music, relieves. Ignatia is especially the remedy in chorea of young girls when of emotional origin, the marked impressionability of the nervous system is characteristic, especially in cases where fright or grief are the exciting causes. In very stubborn cases Arsenic will be found useful; it has much uneasiness in the legs, must change position and walk about for relief,and it corresponds to chorea in debiliated children. Zizia has restless choreic movements during sleep. Sepia, too, has relieved chorea-like symptoms. Laurocerasus is useful in emotional chorea after fright; there are fearful contortions when awake; sleep restless, can neither sit, stand nor lie down on account of incessant motions. Speech is indistinct. Crocus is also a remedy in chorea with hysterical symptoms, twitching of single muscles. It corresponds well to symptoms of hysteria.

#Zincum [Zinc]
Constant motion of the feet, which may continue during sleep,and it is especially the remedy when the chorea is brought on by suppressed eruption or by fright and the general health is involved, right side most affected, much depression of spirits and irritability, worse from wine. Zincum is more adapted to the chronic form, and Zincum valerianate has also been successfully used in chorea. Opium has emotional chorea with trembling and spasmodic jerkings of the flexors; the arms are thrown out at right angles with the body.

#Cimicifuga [Cimic]
When the movements affect the left side and are associated with myalgic or rheumatic ailments, or when reflex from uterine derangements, then Cimicifuga is the remedy. There is sensitiveness of the spine and entire muscular system, fugitive pains especially in the small joints and the endocarditis so often found in rheumatic cases, and if mental depression be present it is an additional indication. Cimicifuga is especially indicated in chorea in young girls, about the age of puberty, with menstrual disorders, especially suppression of menses. Fright chorea and chorea with loss of power of swallowing indicate the remedy. Sleeplessness is an important symptom.

#Calcarea carbonica [Calc-c]
Chorea is only local in its simplest form; there is always some constitutional dyscrasia underlying established cases, and therefore much reliance must be placed on constitutional remedies in most cases. Calcarea is a remedy to correct the malnutrition and is one of the best basic remedies; it often assists materially in securing a recovery. When chorea occurs in Calcarea children, and is brought on by fright or onanism, the remedy will be well indicated. Difficult speech, patient bites tongue when talking are good indications. Sulphur and Psorinum are also useful basic remedies in chorea. Phosphorus is the remedy for chorea in children who grow too fast; with tuberculosis as the basis of the attack. China corresponds to those enfeebled by masturbation or other loss of fluids.

#Cuprum [Cupr]
Baehr claims that Cuprum will cure most cases of chorea, and that the disease will rarely last more than three or four weeks under its administration. It is indicated where the choreic movements start in the muscles of the fingers and toes and extend to the limbs; the patient is better or more quite during sleep, but when awake the terrible contortions and awkward movements are excessive. Saltatoric spasm may occur. When spasms occur in choreic children, Allen recommends Cicuta 6th dilution,also in acute chorea with fever. Nux vomica is the remedy for the spinal chorea; there is unsteady gait and dragging of the feet; there are crawling sensations in the parts attacked and constipation. Cocculus follows well when paralysis remains.

#Natrum muriaticum [Nat-m]
Chronic cases of chorea due to fright,or to chronic eruption about the face, will sometimes indicate Natrum muriaticum. There are paroxysms of jumping up or jerking of the right side of the face, worse during the full moon. Pulsatilla may come in for chorea due to amenorrhoea or dysmenorrhoea, here the general hypersensitiveness, anaemia and chloro-anaemia are characteristic. Cobb thinks it more frequently indicated than any other remedy. Puberty with its awakening in sensitive boys and girls call for Pulsatilla. The digestive symptoms may be present, also the functional cardiac disorders. Sticta is a remedy for chorea complicated with hysteria, and the movements are confined to the lower extremities; the feet and legs jump and dance in spite of all efforts to prevent them.

#Belladonna [Bell]
Belladonna is useful in what the French term La Grande Choree, where there are constrictions, hyperaesthesias, and much bodily inquietude. The patient cannot remain in one position for any length of the time; the jerking is predominately backwards, the head is bored into the pillow. It is distinguished from all other remedies by the intensity of its symptoms. The patient frequently needs to be restrained to prevent self-injury. Veratrum viride is useful in chorea when in addition to twitching there is a violent congestion to the nerve centers and excited pulse. Belladonna suits also choreas reflex from dentition or pregnancy.

#Stramonium [Stram]
Stramonium is especially the remedy when the brain is affected. The movements, as in Belladonna, are characterized by great violence affecting the whole body; the patient leaps grotesquely- saltatoric spasm-rotates the arm, clasps the hands over the head. Hughes says that it rarely cures cases of any standing without the aid of minerals, such as Cuprum, Zincum, or Arsenicum is one of our chief remedies in chorea, and often cures intractable cases. Other symptoms of Stramonium are, a continual changing of the features-now he laughs, now he appears astonished, protrudes his tongue rapidly, head thrown alternately backwards and forwards, extremities in constant motion. Stammering may be present, patient easily frightened. Hyoscyamus has jerking and angular motion; the patient are weak; they have an abnormal perception of distances. Bartlett claims that Hyoscyamus gives better results in twitchings of the eyelids than Agaricus.

#Mygale [Mygal]
It is quite characteristic of the spider poisons to produce spasmodic diseases. Mygale, according to Farrington, is one of our best remedies in uncomplicated cases of chorea; the patient is low spirited and depressed, the muscles of the face twitch constantly, the mouth and eye open and close in rapid succession, the head is jerked to one side, usually the right control over the muscle seems to be lost. If the patient attempts to put his hand to his head it is jerked backwards violently, and words are jerked out in talking. The legs are in motion while sitting, and dragged while attempting to walk. Dr.Clarence Bartlett speaks of this remedy as especially valuable. I have many times verified the use of Mygale in the very worst cases.

#Causticum
Jahr, in his "Forty Years' Practice," lauds Causticum in chorea. The symptoms calling for its use are these: The right side is more affected than the left, the muscles of the face, tongue, arm,and leg are all involved; words are jerked out when talking,patient continually changes his position, throws himself about until he falls asleep exhausted. During sleep legs and arms "on the go;" the child is unable to articulate because of excessive nervousness; indisposition to talk because of weakness of the throat and tongue muscles. It is especially adapted to rheumatic cases brought on from cold or exposure.

#Cina
Chorea produced by a foul stomach, or by irritation form worms, calls for Cina. The movements often commence with a shriek. Asafoetida has chorea from irritation of abdominal nerves from gastric troubles,worms, etc. Chamomilla is useful in those children possessing the characteristic Chamomilla fretfulness. Magnesia phosphorica is a remedy that has cured many cases.